State Sen. Fielder may have conflict of interest

By: M.M. Plouzek, Montana Standard, April 11, 2017

(One of Montana State Sen. Jennifer Fielder’s constituents wrote a “letter to the editor” about Campaign for Accountability’s lawsuit against Sen. Fielder.  In February, we sued Sen. Fielder for failing to respond to an open records request.  Now, the legislature is poised to appropriate taxpayer dollars to fund Sen. Fielder’s legal defense.)

I do not find it surprising that Sen. Jennifer Fielder has been sued for not releasing emails, etc. I am surprised she is allowed to be a member of the Legislature as the CEO of the American Land Council out of Utah. I consider this arrangement a direct conflict of interest. I do not think she can represent Montana’s interests and the American Land Council, which actively works to have federal lands turned over to the state or a local entity of some kind.

I am against paying for her lawsuit. Rep. Ken Ivory is reported to have resigned the Lands Council amid scrutiny for using government email and public time to conduct business on the group’s behalf. I question whether Fielder might be doing the same thing, which is not why she is a member of the Legislature.

This situation is questionable at best and may need more looking into now that the question has been raised about paying for lawsuits and possible use of time and email.

— M.M. Plouzek, Thompson Falls